Extending Google Sheets: Uptime Monitor

Article summary

Google Docs (and the recently-improved Google Sheets) are powerful tools. In the last few years, there have been some awesome additions to these products, one of which is Google Apps Scripting. With the apps scripting tools, you can write your own menus and background tasks for Google Drive, plus general scripts for the Google Apps suite. The interfaces are there; the only limitation to what you can create is you.

In a recent series of posts, I described tools to help plan, build, and maintain a small app as a startup team. While looking at uptime monitors, I wasn’t really impressed with any of the free options. Only after publishing the post did I discover an uptime tracker in Google Sheets. I was aware of other cool uses of Google Sheets, such as an Amazon.com price monitor, but using it as an uptime monitor had slipped my mind.

How To

(These steps are from the original site: Monitor your Website’s Uptime with Google Docs)

  1. Sign-in to your Google account and then click here to copy this Google sheet into your Google Drive. You may use your Google Apps account as well.
  2. Put your website URLs in cell B2 (comma separated) and your email address in cell B3. If you wish to be alerted by text messages, just replace No with Yes in cell B4.
  3. You’ll find a new Website Monitor menu in your Google Docs toolbar. Click Initialize and you’ll get a pop-up asking for authorization. Grant the necessary access.
  4. Go to the Website Monitor menu again and choose “Start” to begin the monitoring process.  Close the Google Sheet.

That simple! Now the big benefit is that you can do your own reporting with charts in Google Sheets or use an external app (rails gem or npm package) to make a front end display.

If you want to see the inner workings behind the script (for sanity or extension), it is available here. If you want more awesome, there is a list of other great Google App Scripts.